Camping in Washington is one of the best ways to explore the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
We’ve rounded up 40+ of the best campgrounds in Washington State for tent camping and RV camping alike. Browse our top recommendations or skip to the region you wish to explore with our helpful navigation guide.
Here are the best places to go camping in Washington – updated for 2021.
Best Places to Camp in Washington
Jump to the region you wish to learn more about camping in.
- Northwest Washington
- North Cascades National Park
- Near Seattle
- Olympic National Park
- Mount Rainier National Park
- Near Spokane
- Eastern Washington
- Southern Washington
Or, continue reading for our full list.
Best Camping in Northwest Washington
Northwest Washington is known for rain – yet it’s exactly this rain that makes it such a beautiful area to explore outdoors.
Pair the rich green forests with miles of shoreline and rugged mountains, and it’s easy to see why the Northwest offers some of the best camping in Washington. Summer is beautiful in the Northwest – but making your camping reservations early as campgrounds fill up fast.
Here are 5 of the best places to go camping in Northwest Washington.
1. Deception Pass State Park
Washington state parks camping doesn’t get much better than Deception Pass State Park.
The most visited state park in Washington, Deception Pass is notable for its easy beach and lake access as well as miles of hiking trails. Check out West Beach Sand Dunes for a short (1.2 mile) hike that’s perfect for the whole family.
The state park offers 167 tent sites and 143 utility spaces spread out over three beautiful campgrounds.
Check out our full guide to camping at Deception Pass State Park.
2. Moran State Park
Located on Orcas Island, the largest of the San Juan Islands, a visit to Moran State Park is well worth the ferry ride. Activities include miles of hiking, biking, and horseback trails as well as quick beach and lake access.
Hike Cascade Falls (3.1 miles) to check out the largest waterfall in the San Juan Islands or hike Mount Constitution (6.7 miles – but also drivable) to check out the view from the archipelago’s tallest mountain.
This Washington state park campground offers 151 campsites. No hookups are available, although the majority of sites are large enough to accommodate RVS.
3. Alpine RV Park
Alpine RV Park is one of the best places for RV camping in Washington near the North Cascades.
This pet-friendly RV campground is located high on the west side of the beautiful Cascade Mountains. Most people stay here for the easy access to North Cascades National Park, though the views from the campground itself are phenomenal.
Dozens of full-hookup, pull-through sites greet RV campers. There’s also plenty of grassy space for tent camping. A laundry room and a game room are also available.
4. La Conner RV & Camping Resort
Another great option for RV camping in Washington is La Conner RV & Camping Resort.
Just minutes from the quaint artistic community of La Conner, this campground is notable for the half-mile of saltwater beachfront it sits on.
111 acres of camping space is available, most set aside for RVs. Free Wi-Fi, a restaurant, and a small store are all on site.
5. Little Gee Lake
Actual free campgrounds are few and far between in Washington State.
Though it’s not technically a campground, the area around Little Gee Lake offers some of the best free dispersed camping in Washington. Camp in any dispersed area in the beautiful Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest for up to 14 days for free.
Remember that dispersed camping means no amenities. There are no bathrooms, showers, or hookups. If you’re RV camping, be prepared for RV boondocking. Tent campers might want to bring along a camping toilet and/or a camping shower to make their trip more comfortable.
Best Camping in North Cascades National Park
Camping in Washington doesn’t get much more remote or rugged than North Cascades National Park.
The northernmost of the state’s three national parks, it’s notable for its forested campgrounds and multitude of backcountry campsites, including remote lakeside camp spots.
Here are 5 of the best places to go camping near North Cascades National Park.
Don’t forget to check out our full guide to camping in North Cascades National Park for even more ideas!
1. Colonial Creek Campground
Located on the shores of Diablo Lake, Colonial Creek Campground is one of the best campgrounds in North Cascades National Park.
In addition to the breathtaking scenery, this Washington State campground is a hub for outdoor activities. The popular Thunder Knob Trail starts in the campground. The lakeside location also makes it popular for fishing, kayaking and canoeing, and swimming (but the water is very cold!).
Colonial Creek Campground has 94 campsites total (some large enough for small RVs). The southern loop is open for reservations while the northern loop is first-come first-served.
2. Newhalem Creek Campground
Newhalem Creek Campground is another scenic, private place for camping in North Cascades National Park.
Although the campground is just a hop, skip, and jump away from the town of Newhalem, it’s very private and secluded. Several hiking trails start in the campground, including the short 1-mile roundtrip Trail of the Cedars.
This Washington campground has 107 total campsites (many spacious enough for large RVs) plus an additional group camping area.
3. Hozomeen Campground
For a completely unique North Cascades camping experience, head north through Canada before crossing south through the border to camp at Hozomeen Campground.
Perhaps the most remote car campground in North Cascades National Park (and possibly all of Washington State), Hozomeen is located at the northern end of Ross Lake. Several hiking trails are located in the area. The boat launch and lakeside location make it ideal for fishing.
Hozomeen Campground has 75 first-come first-served campsites plus several overflow camping areas. Small RVs and trailers are known to make the trek, but do note that the road in is extremely rough (you’ll want to bring along a spare tire).
4. Purple Point Campground
Unlike the three North Cascades campgrounds mentioned above, Purple Point Campground is located on Lake Chelan, not Ross Lake.
In fact, it’s one of the best places to go camping in Washington State for those that want to explore beautiful Stehekin.
In addition to Purple Point Campground, there are several other options for camping in Stehekin, including lakeside campsites. Most Stehekin campgrounds require a backcountry permit.
5. Lone Fir Campground
Another first-come, first-served campground, Lone Fir Campground is found east of North Cascades National Park near the town of Mazama.
The small, private campground is located in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Most campsites are small so this campground is best for tent camping or small RVs.
Thanks to its location alongside the North Cascades Highway, Lone Fir is popular among bicycle campers. Don’t forget to stop in at the Mazama Store for supplies or a bite to eat.
Best Camping Near Seattle
Visiting Seattle and want a taste of the great outdoors? Or maybe you’re a local that wants to venture outside the city more often?
Either way, there’s enough great camping near Seattle for even the most serious campers to get their fill. The islands and mountains surrounding the city are home to some of the best campgrounds in Washington State.
Here are 5 of the best places to go camping near Seattle.
1. Blake Island Marine State Park
Camping in Washington arguably doesn’t get much better than staying on one of the state’s many islands.
For those interested in camping near Seattle, Blake Island Marine State Park is one of the best island camping getaways. It’s notable for its peaceful campsites, Tillicum Village northwest coast native tribal visitor center, and location along the Cascadia Marine Trail.
Blake Island Marine State Park has just under 50 campsites (plus a large group camping area) spread across three different campgrounds. The island is only accessible via private boat or Argosy Cruises.
2. Camp Long
You just can’t beat Camp Long for camping in Seattle without leaving the city.
This popular Washington State campground is notable for its forested location in the heart of West Seattle. In addition to camping, the city provides several other activities throughout the park, including outdoor orienteering and rock climbing. The Camp Long Trail is a well-traveled 1.6-mile roundtrip hike.
Do note that the only camping available here is cabin camping – no tents or RVs are allowed. There are 10 cabins total that each cost around $50 per night to rent, making Camp Long the perfect choice for glamping in Seattle.
3. Maury Island Marine Park
Just an hour from Seattle by ferry, Maury Island Marine Park is another extraordinary scenic spot for camping near Seattle.
The park and campground is actually located on a small peninsula on Vashon Island. Campers love it for its gorgeous views of Puget Sound and Mount Rainier, easy beach access, and countless Maury Island Marine Park hiking trails.
This campground has just 7 total campsites, all of which can be reserved online. The only amenities include a port-a-potty and picnic shelter. Do note that you must park your car roughly 3/4 miles from the campsites, so a walk or bike ride is in store. You can also access the camping area via kayak.
4. Fay Bainbridge Park & Campground
Yet another island destination for camping near Seattle, Fay Bainbridge Park & Campground is situated on Bainbridge Island.
Just a short ferry ride from Seattle, this family campground is set right above the beaches of the Puget Sound. You can take in sweeping views of the Cascade Mountains from many campsites. Mount Rainier and Mount Baker are both visible on clear days.
In addition to 14 tent campsites, Fay Bainbridge Park & Campground also has 26 RV campsites (with full hookups, accommodating RVs up to 40 feet long) plus 3 camping cabins. Most campsites can be reserved online.
5. Tinkham Campground
Tinkham Campground gives tent and RV campers the classic Seattle camping experience.
Located less than an hour east of Seattle just off I-90, this small, primitive camping area is smack dab in the middle of some of the best hiking in Seattle. It’s a very popular campground for hikers to stay at in-between day hikes during the summer months.
Tinkham Campground is perfect for family camping with children. The nearby Tinkham Discovery Trail is a short, flat 0.5-mile roundtrip hike that takes young hikers to the edge of a small forested pond.
Best Camping in Olympic National Park
The Olympic Peninsula is one of Washington’s premier outdoor areas.
In fact, Olympic National Park receives more than 2,800,000 visitors a year, making it the 7th most popular National Park in the country. Luckily, the park contains over a dozen amazing campgrounds for visitors to spread out across. The surrounding area also has several campgrounds just a short drive away from the national park.
Here are 5 of the best places to go camping on the Olympic Peninsula.
Our full guide to camping in Olympic National Park will give you even more ideas!
1. Kalaloch Campground
If it’s easy access to the coast you’re after, there are few better places for camping in Washington State than Kalaloch Campground.
The only campground in Olympic National Park to offer reservations (from June to September), Kalaloch is situated on a high bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Nearby Ruby Beach is also well worth a visit. Kalaloch is pet-friendly and perfect for camping with dogs.
Kalaloch Campground has 168 campsites. There are no utilities available, but many spaces accommodate RVs. The nearby Kalaloch Lodge is worth a look from those that prefer to stay in a lodge or cabin instead of tent or RV camping.
2. Fairholme Campground
Located adjacent to beautiful Lake Crescent, Fairholme Campground is one of the best places to go camping on the Olympic Peninsula.
Easy access to the lake, plus several campsites along the shoreline, makes Fairholme the ideal choice for those with swimming, fishing, or boating on the mind. The famous Sol Duc Hot Springs are only a hop skip and a jump away for a relaxing soak.
Fairholme Campground has 88 campsites. Although none of them have hookups, most accommodate RVs.
3. Fort Flagler Historical State Park
Make the perfect family camping road trip even better by setting up shop at Fort Flagler Historical State Park.
Just minutes from charming downtown Port Townsend, this campground is situated on the northern end of Marrowstone Island. Visit nearby Fort Flagler, a coastal defense fort built during the 1890s, for a dose of military history to complement the camping experience.
Fort Flagler State Park boasts 59 standard campsites plus 55 campsites with full hook-ups. All RV sites have easy access to the beach, making this one of the best places for RV camping in Washington.
4. Hobuck Beach Resort
Another must-visit Washington campground on the Olympic Peninsula is Hobuck Beach Resort.
Located on the Makah Reservation near Neah Bay, the campground is the perfect jumping off point for exploring Shi Shi Beach, the gem of the Olympic Coast, as well as Cape Flattery, the northwestmost area in the contiguous United States.
Hobuck Beach Resort has over 500 tent camping spaces, over 25 cabins, and around a dozen full hook-up RV sites.
5. Campbell Tree Grove Campground
One of the best free campgrounds in Washington is Campbell Tree Grove Campground.
Surrounded by old growth Western hemlocks, Western red cedars, and Douglas firs, this campground is perfect for those that prefer deep woods camping. It’s located right next to the burbling Humptulips River.
31 campsites are available. RVs and trailers up to 16 feet are allowed. There is no potable water, but vault toilets are available.
Best Camping near Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park is one of Washington State’s major outdoor attractions during the summer months.
Standing 14,410 feet above sea level, the ancient volcano dominates the landscape. Topped with glaciers year-round, the summer months jolt colorful subalpine wildflower meadows into full bloom. It’s a Washington State camping paradise, especially for families and hikers.
Here are 5 of the best places to go camping near Mount Rainier National Park.
Check out our guide to camping in Mount Rainier National Park for the full breakdown.
1. Cougar Rock Campground
Those set on staying within the national park’s boundaries should look into camping at Cougar Rock Campground.
Located in the southwest corner of the park, this campground is the perfect jumping off point for exploring Paradise (the park’s most popular destination). Cougar Rock itself features an excellent lookout point with views of Mount Rainier, as well as easy access to the famous Wonderland Trail.
The campground has 173 campsites. No utilities are available, but RVs up to 35 feet and trailers up to 27 feet are allowed. Note that Cougar Rock is one of only two campgrounds in Mount Rainier National Park to offer reservations (the other is Ohanapecosh Campground).
2. La Wis Wis Campground
Just minutes outside of Mount Rainier National Park, La Wis Wis is notable for its location at the confluence of three rivers.
Not only is the campground the perfect starting point for exploring Mount Rainier, it’s also one of the best long-term locations for camping in Washington. 15 double sites and an extra spacious group site make it a good choice for large groups.
The campground has 122 campsites. No utilities are available, but one section does accommodate RVs and trailers (although roads are narrow, winding, and bordered with tall trees).
3. Alder Lake Park
Park your RV at Alder Lake Park and explore the beauty of the surrounding area.
Just a short drive from Mount Rainier, this Washington State campground offers visitors plenty of recreational opportunities. Swimming, boating, and fishing are all close at hand.
Alder Lake Park has 173 campsites spread out across four campgrounds. 74 have water/electric hookups and 35 have water/electric/sewer hookups.
4. Riffe Lake Campground
Another great place for RV camping in Washington, Riffe Lake Campground is just a short drive from Mount Rainier.
In addition to water activities like swimming, boating, and fishing, the Riffe Lake area also features miles of hiking trails. One of the best is Goat Creek which takes you to the beautiful Cathedral Falls.
Approximately two dozen campsites are available, most with full hookups that accommodate any size trailer or RV.
5. Summit Creek Campground
Dispersed camping is available throughout most of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
One of the best free campgrounds for accessing Mount Rainier National Park is Summit Creek Campground (as well as nearby Soda Springs Campground).
Both campgrounds are free for up to 14 days. They’re both rustic without amenities, except vault toilets. Tent camping is ideal, although small RVs and trailers are welcome.
Best Camping Near Spokane
Spokane is the second largest city in Washington State, after Seattle.
This makes it a popular jumping off point for exploring Eastern Washington as well as Idaho (it’s just 18 miles from the border). Dozens of great campgrounds give locals and visitors alike plenty of space to enjoy all the outdoor fun Spokane has to offer.
Here are 5 of the best places to go camping near Spokane.
1. Bowl & Pitcher (Riverside State Park)
Chief among the best Washington state park campgrounds is the “Bowl & Pitcher Area” of Riverside State Park near Spokane.
One of the best campgrounds in Washington overall, the Bowl & Pitcher isn’t exactly private, but it does have unbeatable views. It’s located right alongside the impressive Spokane River. Adventurous campers often choose to hike across the nearby swinging bridge to follow the river along the 2.1-mile roundtrip Bowl & Pitcher Loop Trail.
As one of four camping areas in Riverside State Park, the Bowl & Pitcher Campground has 16 tent campsites and 16 RV campsites with partial hookups. Reservations are available online.
2. Liberty Lake Regional Park
Don’t forget about Liberty Lake Regional Park when it comes to camping in Washington.
This family-friendly campground is just a half hour east of Spokane just off of I-90. It’s right on the border between Washington and Idaho. It’s a great jumping off point for exploring Northern Idaho, including Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Liberty Lake Regional Park has 10 tent campsites, 17 RV campsites, 4 camping cabins (with lake views), and a group camping area. Reservations are available online.
3. Mount Spokane State Park
Just an hour northeast of Spokane, Mount Spokane State Park is a small, quiet campground with 8 total campsites.
Not only is Mount Spokane State Park among the largest state parks in Washington State, but it’s also home to some of the best hiking in Washington. Over 100 miles of trails greet hikers and campers hoping to explore the area. Start with the 5-mile roundtrip Quartz Mountain Trail, complete with historic fire lookout tower on the summit.
In addition to hiking, many campers enjoy bicycling and horseback riding on the park’s 79 miles of bike and horse-friendly trails. A spacious skiing and snowboarding area serves the Spokane community during the winter.
4. Lake Spokane Campground (Riverside State Park)
Another one of the four campgrounds in Riverside State Park, Lake Spokane Campground is perfect for fans of primitive camping.
One of the best places to go camping in Washington, particularly the eastern half, this campground has 11 primitive campsites plus 4 boat-in campsites. The campground experiences relatively light use, even during the summer, although the day use area is popular among Spokane locals.
As the name implies, Lake Spokane Campground is located on the shores of the lake. A swimming area is a short walk away. The lake also has great fishing opportunities.
5. Dragoon Creek Campground
Dragoon Creek Campground is a spacious, sizable campground run by the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Located just 20 miles north of Spokane, the campground accommodates tent campers as well as large RVs, although no hookups are available. The nearby creek is the perfect place for kids to play.
This campground is free with a Washington State Discover Pass ($35 per year).
Best Camping in Eastern Washington
A lot of people, especially those from outside of Washington State, tend to overlook Eastern Washington for camping.
Yet it’s one of the best regions for camping in Washington. The rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains means this region is much drier than Western Washington – some areas are even desert.
Here are 5 of the best places to go camping in Eastern Washington.
1. Lake Chelan State Park
Camping at Lake Chelan each year is a tradition for thousands of families in Washington and beyond.
This Washington state park campground’s location next to the 50.5-mile lake makes it the perfect place for swimming, boating, fishing, and more. Excellent hiking trails, including the 2.3-mile Little Bear Trail, offer even more ways for families to stay busy.
Lake Chelan State Park offers 109 tent sites, 18 sites with water/electric, and 17 sites with water/electric/sewer.
2. Wenatchee Confluence State Park
Camping at Wenatchee Confluence State Park blends the best of both worlds: endless recreational opportunities and beautiful wildlife viewing.
The campground’s central location also makes it easy to access two of Eastern Washington’s best towns: Wenatchee and Bavarian-themed Leavenworth. As the campground’s name implies, it’s situated where the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers meet, meaning swimming, fishing, and boating are all close at hand.
8 tent sites and 51 full hook-up sites are available. Despite the small number of tent sites, the privacy of each campsite still makes Wenatchee Confluence State Park one of the best places to go camping in Washington.
3. Steamboat Rock State Park
Washington’s “Coulee Country” is known for big skies, wide open vistas, dramatic shrub step – and, of course, Steamboat Rock.
As one of the best locations for Washington state parks camping, Steamboat Rock State Park gives campers easy access to Steamboat Rock, an 800-foot-tall basalt butte that spans 600 acres. The area, referred to locally as “scabland,” is filled with wildlife and wildflowers during the spring.
This Washington campground is home to 136 utility sites, making it the perfect stop for RV campers. An additional 26 tent sites and 3 cabins give you even more camping options.
4. Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park
Though it’s east of the Cascade Mountains, Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park is technically more of a central Washington camping location.
Just outside the windy town of Vantage (hence the nearby Wild Horse Wind Farm), the campground is notable for its 27,000 feet of shoreline along the Columbia River and the unique petrified wood along the Gingko Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail.
Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park boasts 50 full hook-up RV sites. The close proximity to the Gorge Amphitheater makes it very popular during concert season – so check the events schedule and book early!
5. Big Meadow Lake Campground
Free camping in Eastern Washington just doesn’t get better than Big Meadow Lake Campground.
Tucked away in Colville National Forest, the campground is especially well known for its ample wildlife viewing opportunities. Private campsites, some with lake views, make for a relaxing weekend in the woods.
17 free campsites are available. They have picnic tables, fire pits, and tent pads. Vault toilets are on site.
Best Camping in Southern Washington
Like Eastern Washington, the outdoor areas of Southern Washington are far less frequently explored than those of Western Washington.
Yet that doesn’t mean southern Washington State campgrounds aren’t worth exploring. The area contains dozens of beautiful campgrounds near Mount Saint Helens, along the Columbia River, in the Blue Mountains, near Walla Walla, and more.
Here are 5 of the best campgrounds in Southern Washington.
1. Seaquest State Park
Make Seaquest State Park your tent camping home base for exploring Mount Saint Helens.
Visit the Mount Saint Helens Visitor Center, just across the road from the campground, for ranger talks, interpretive exhibits, and more. This Washington state park campground is also notable for its lush forests and boardwalk around Silver Lake.
Seaquest State Park has 55 sites for tent camping and 33 sites with full hook-ups for RVs. It also has five yurts for a unique family camping experience.
2. Beaver Campground
Camping in Southern Washington isn’t complete without a stop to Beaver Campground, also near Mount Saint Helens.
The relaxing campground is nestled in a deep grove of trees. The quiet campsites are just a few minutes walk from the burbling Wind River. Camp here at the right time of year and you’re in for as much wild blueberry picking as you can handle.
24 campsites are available at this small campground. A group overflow site can accommodate up to 60 more campers.
3. Fishhook Park
Those looking for a classic Washington camping experience without leaving their RV should look no further than Fishhook Park.
With lake access to Lake Sacajawea, the campground is best known for its recreational activities. Namely, fishing, swimming, and boating. The area also has some historical significance: Lewis and Clark camped near here in October 1805.
41 campsites are available, all with full hook-ups for RV campers. 11 primitive tent sites are also available.
4. Plymouth Park
Just south of the Tri-Cities, and right before crossing into East Oregon, is Plymouth Park.
This popular RV campground is loved for its shoreline location on the Columbia River. In fact, the nearby day-use area is actually on a small island. Swimming, boating, and fishing are all popular activities, as is hunting.
Plymouth Park’s 32 campsites all have electric hook-ups for RV camping.
5. Panther Creek Dispersed Area
Free camping opportunities abound in Southern Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest with the Panther Creek area taking the top slot.
Just past the developed Panther Creek Campground (only $18 a night) are a number of dispersed camping areas where you can camp for free. Note that all of these are rustic, without even basic amenities.
Drive up Panther Creek Road and keep your eye open for dispersed campsites. The best are the three located right along the creek with water views.
Top Tips for Camping in Washington
Being aware that weather can shift to rain, even in the summer, is our top Washington camping tip.
It’s always smart to prepare for camping in the rain, especially if you’re camping in Western Washington.
Beyond that, it’s important to plan ahead for any necessary permits or passes. Most common is a backcountry permit for backpacking and wilderness camping.
To save money on campgrounds in Washington, consider planning your trip in the off season. Not only are most campgrounds far less busy, but many paid campgrounds offer free camping in the winter months.
Find The Best Campgrounds Near You!
Here are some of our other best state camping guides:
- Best Camping in California
- Best Camping in Colorado
- Best Camping in Idaho
- Best Camping in Oregon
- Best Camping in Utah
And, like always, let us know if you have any questions about camping in Washington – or in any other state!
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Thursday 10th of February 2022
The picture you have for Wenatchee's Confluence is actually from Leavenworth area, which isn't really near Confluence. You should maybe visit these places and take pictures while you're there, Confluence is a horrible place to camp compared to most of the others on your list, anywhere in Leavenworth, or Lake Wenatchee would be a better choice, especially when this is a list of BEST places to camp in Washington. ;)
P.S. I can See Confluence from my Livingroom window, and I spend 45-80 days tent camping in Washington state every year. For anyone checking comments to see if there is good feedback, the great majority of this list are great places to camp, but thankfully the very best aren't on here, you'll have to find them by getting out there like the rest of us.
Sunday 17th of June 2018
This article could use a map as a quick reference.
Monday 18th of June 2018
Fantastic idea Justin - thank you!
Wednesday 5th of July 2017
im heading to washington in a few weeks, i would love to check these places out!! :)